Ok, let’s be honest from the get-go! Your wedding budget may not be one of the most exciting parts of planning your wedding, but it’s a very important part! Our top tips on how to create your wedding budget will outline why it’s important, how to actually create your budget and how to stick to your budget!
You know how it goes, you get engaged, everything is amazing, you are caught up thinking of all the things you want for your wedding, and why not?! This is your wedding! And while you are totally allowed to go crazy on your daydreaming, it is important that your budget features near the start of your wedding planning.
Failing to give your budget time and attention before you start planning, can equal heartache and stress down the track – neither of which you want! Wedding planning can be stressful enough without adding money woes into the mix. Don’t leave it to chance or hope that all will work out, make a plan so you know it will all come together. Your sanity will thank you!
How do I start my wedding budget?
Set a time that you and your partner can sit down, uninterrupted, and really start to talk about your wedding. Ideally this is a good idea before you start to book vendors etc. Some important things to consider initially are the time of year you want to get married, how many people you are likely to invite etc. and any thoughts you may already have about the style or feel of your wedding (and if you don’t have any idea about what sort of wedding you want yet, don’t panic! It will become clearer!).
These things will have a big impact on your budget, especially the number of people you invite. Think about how much money you already have saved, how much you can realistically put aside for your wedding (the sooner you get married, the less time you have to save) and if you have any offers of financial assistance from family and friends.
It’s also important to remember your budget may look very different to the next couples. What one person is prepared to spend, will be eye-watering for someone else and just not possible. Likewise, the ways someone may be able to save and be thrifty just won’t be possible for another couple.
Work out your priorities
By now you have no doubt realized there are limitless things your hard-earned cash can go towards for your wedding. It can be overwhelming thinking about all the things, and there is absolutely no rule saying you need to have all the things. My biggest advice to couples at the start of their wedding planning is to work out your top four or five priorities. It doesn’t matter what they are, the important thing is you and your partner agree on them. They are likely the things you are not willing to compromise on and will give shape to your wedding budget and planning.
It could be that the photographer is a top priority, and you are willing to pay top dollar to get the best photographer in town. It may be that you are a foodie and having top notch food for you and your guests is essential. It may be your venue, your dress, the rings, the music – you get my drift, it doesn’t matter what it is but having a list together is a great place to start.
It’s super easy to become completely caught up in all the details, convinced you need all the things for your wedding. You may find yourself going along with things for your wedding that aren’t even important to you! So, this is where setting your priorities for your wedding is not just important, but essential! Not only will this help give your wedding budget direction, but it will also be a guide for when things get a bit much and you feel overwhelmed.
You can come back to your priorities at any time and remember the things you and your partner are firm on. You may focus on planning your priorities first and you may splurge more on these items. It maybe you may need to adjust your budget for other things to make the priorities happen – again this is why having your priorities set is really important.
Once you have your priorities set for your day, start to think about the amount of money you need to allocate for each item. You might choose to talk to your friends who are married and see how much they paid for things, jump online and get an idea on pricing from vendors (many have their pricing on their website), have a look at online groups for guidance too. When you have done this, you will start to get a good picture of what type of wedding you can afford and see how it stacks up with your ideas.
Remember, your priorities are yours and yours alone. They are the things that are super important to you both and that you aren’t willing to compromise on. Anything else outside of this list can afford to be done on the cheaper end of the scale or maybe not even at all. Don’t feel like you have to have everything!
Other things to consider
It’s still reasonably common for parents to contribute to their children’s weddings. It’s a very personal thing, but it could be a good idea to have a chat with parents about their intentions. It’s super important everyone is clear on how much is being offered, is it a loan or a gift, do they want to pay for something specific or are they happy to give you the cash to do as you want. Also be clear on what they may expect in return – inviting friends, having a say in things etc.
Think you are going to go over budget? Honestly, we all know it can be so easy to do! Make sure it’s for something that is really going to enhance your wedding. Don’t blow the budget for something that isn’t memorable and is likely to not make a big impact on the day. If you are finding your budget and your dream wedding aren’t aligning, its time to really think about things. No one wants to wind up in a pile of debt after the wedding has been and gone. Can you give yourselves more time to save? Can you make adjustments to your plans to make the budget work?
So as you can see, your budget is important! Giving it time and attention at the start will help you so much down the line and avoid unnecessary stress and angst. There are plenty of ways you can trim costs too, check out our blog on BYO weddings here, and whether you should save or splurge here.
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